Seize the moment – How text can help you nail context marketing

OpenMarket – July 28, 2017

The Empathetic Moments blog series

When you need to get in touch with your customers to be there, be useful and be responsive – in time pressured situations – text messaging is a much better channel than either email and voice calls.

In this blog series, we’ll look at seven different Empathetic Moments – times when brands can win customer loyalty by sending communications that really matter at exactly the right time.

You know how it is to be a customer. Billboards, newspaper ads, commercials, pop-ups, banner ads. It feels like every company in the world is trying to get your attention all the time, trying to persuade you that what they’re selling is exactly what you need to buy.

Ad blindness is now a well-documented phenomenon. Unless promotions are super targeted and specific to us, we just don’t see them. We shut them out and ignore them with an automatic reflex.

And that’s why personalization is such an important part of context marketing. Vast amounts of juicy customer data allow smart marketers to tailor ads, promotions and offers to precise individual needs – and greatly increase the chances of gaining a customer’s attention and, ultimately, making a sale.

Your communications don’t cut-through

But there’s a problem. You’ve got the data to create an offer you know customers are going to love. You know the kind of things they want to buy. And you know that they’re thinking about your brand right now – either because they’re on your website or because they’re near one of your stores.

How do you capture that moment? For a lot of businesses, there are two (not very good) options. The first is targeted online ads – but they’re a bit creepy and don’t beat the problem of ad blindness.

The second is email – which is more personal, but it still requires effort by the customer. They’ve got to log in or open an extra app, scroll through their emails (ignoring all the other business promo emails they’ve got that day), find your email and read it. It’s just more difficult – and that’s why the open rate for business email is around 20% (on a good day).

Text message: A better channel  

Text messaging gives you an amazing opportunity to cut through all the brand noise and influence a potential customer at exactly the right moment.

You’ve got the data to know your customer is close – now it’s all about seizing that golden opportunity and giving them the extra incentive to make a purchase, whether that’s with a coupon, a discount, a special offer or just some extra information about the thing they’re interested in.

Text messaging works because – put simply – text messages get read. When it comes to in-the-moment, real time, responsive messages, no other channel comes close. People almost always have their phone near at hand – so it just makes things easy.

That’s why the open rate for text messages in 98% – with 90% of those messages read within three minutes.

When that’s an option, why waste money on resources on promotions that – however good and relevant – are likely to be missed or ignored by most people?

Seizing a purchase moment with context marketing

There are all sorts of ways you can use text to influence your customer at exactly the right moment.

Let’s say, you know your customer is in the mall near one of your stores. If your CRM can generate a text message that gets sent automatically to let her know that there’s 50% off some jeans you think she’ll love, then she’s much more likely to drop in.

Or maybe a potential customer is on your website and has just watched a video about your awesome new product. He’s clearly interested – and maybe a digital coupon sent via text is just the thing to turn him into a customer.

Text can also be used for encouraging loyalty. Is it the tenth time a customer has visited your store this year? Let them know you’re grateful with a special promotion that’s just for the most loyal customers.

Empathy counts

When it comes to text messaging and context marketing, it’s all about empathy. You know your customers – and you know when they’re thinking about you. So don’t stress them out and fill their lives (and inboxes) with promotions at the wrong time.

Use text messages, and be genuinely useful – help your customers out, give them information and reward them for loyalty, at exactly the moment it’s going to make all the difference.

To find out how text can help you seize more Empathetic Moments, download the Empathetic Moments Workbook.  

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